We have three cats *:

Harvey Quinn
Blackberry / Scrappy
Fifi Toupe
  • Boy, Insistent
  • Boy, Hesitant
  • Girl, Kick yo ass

Fifi just got spayed, so needed to stay from her brothers.  Just in time – Harvey has matured, and, his biology is calling for him to be very very curious about female cats.  Even if it’s a litter mate.

Harvey and Blackbery have their dates with the vet next week Wednesday.

In the mean time – Fifi’s stitches came out, but Harvey would just NOT leave her alone.   So, when unsupervised, I needed to continue to keep them separate.

We have this setup:

  • I had to keep Harvey and Fifi Separate
  • One partition of cats could roam the hallways if we let them.  Either by opening the bedroom door or the bathroom door.
  • All cats must have access to litterboxen.  (There’s also drinking fountains in each Hab.)

How many combinations could I come up with?

I think the way this breaks down is as follows:

  • 2: Either we have   F, H+B  or F+B, H. 
  • x2: Either we have F in bedroom or F in bathroom.  (and the other pair on the other side)
  • x3: Either we have the bedroom open to roam, or the bathroom open to roam, or neither.

Yielding a total of 12 combinations.

Oops.   I don’t think I have tried all 12.   Some things to narrow it down:

  • F HATES being alone – LOVES Human company.   Not so much other cats – maybe because they’re smelly boys.   So really, access to roaming doesn’t mean much to her, she just hangs with us humans.   This brings it from 12 down to 6.
  • H HATES being alone; he loves to roam.  He views closed doors as challenges to open and sneak past as soon as you open them.   So always giving him roaming, same as the above, still at 6.    No!  down to 4, because H should always be roaming, that rules out the both-locked-in version (which is the “dogs are out” configuration).
  • B loves to be near another cat.  I think he roams mostly to follow H around.    Although he has sneak attacked me at the screen door to the outside in the Family room.   Still at six, cause he’s either with H or F.

So the four workables are:

  • F+B in bedroom, H in bathroom roaming
  • F in bedroom, H+B in bathroom roaming  <—Usual
  • F+B in bathroom, H in bedroom roaming
  • F in bathroom, H+B in bedroom roaming   <—no, she cries.

Aha! ruled out another one.  So, 3 good combinations.

The standard arrangement has been (at night) F with me in the bedroom, and H+B roaming with access to the bathroom litter box.

The one time I kept H with me, and F+B in the bathroom – he snuggled with me a bit, then went off into the closet and ignored me.   Quite cat-like. If I ain’t got the pettings, he aint got time for me.  

I think tonight we’ll go with F+B with me, and H out to room with the bathroom.


*Yes, I’m using cat pictures in a blog post.  I’ve been told that cat pictures are what makes the internet keep working. 

Love my life.


imageFor the last 60 hours or so, we have had to put aside all our normal routines, and adapt to a new routine:  of being foster-parents to squirmy, wormy, squishy, squeeky Kittens.

Our son’s friends found them in a ditch by a highway at an abandoned house.  Initially, the kids thought they would nurse them back to health, but their patience was run down, and so we made a decision and took over as foster parents.

But this is a geek blog! 

Right, so:  I repurposed one of my Dropcam’s, on nighttime mode, watching the kitties.  I have an alert set up for litter box use:


Here’s some things we’re learning about them:

  • When we feed them, they will eat a bunch, and then they’ll stop.. but they’re not done yet!   give them a little bit to digest, they might run around like banshees for a bit.. work up a bit more appetite.. then they eat again.. THEN they are done.
  • They know how to use the litter box! thank god.   I had to help some of them with #1 and #2 .. once we got past the initial dehydration and stuff, it was okay.
  • To heck with all the feeding schedules on the internet.  When they get hungry, the two bigger ones start trying to suckle the smaller ones.  Not good for the smaller ones.  That’s when we know for sure to feed them.  Its been about every 4 hours or so, although I think we get a bit of a reprieve when its dark out.
    • Speaking of suckled little ones, they are the first to wake up and the last to go to sleep.   Learned habits.
  • Calories in, Pee & Poop out.  Everything else in the middle is optional.  Their bodies are programmed to grow, and their instincts guide them well. 

Some stuff I’m figuring out personally:

  • I am insanely proud of them every time they figure out something new.  Like, leaping, or climbing up my leg, or batting a ball.
  • I feel very honored whenever any of them decide to use me as a perch, or play in my lap, etc.  I guess I’m one big momma kitten to them.. playing king of the hill, etc.
    • Taking my momma cat job seriously – my wife is dealing with the formula and feeding, and I’m dealing with with the cleaning.   So I’m taking a wet rag to any part of them that seems dirty.  Faces, tails, butts, bellies – its all fair game.  And they cry like little boogers and make bad faces, but when I’m done with them, they’re clean, and they can go back to playing.   I’m proud of what I’ve done so far.  I think my previous cats would be proud…
  • Speaking of, I’ve had my cats. [livejournal link]  Whiskey died at the age of 14, and Samantha died at 19.   I love cats, and I wasn’t planning on getting more cats.  These cats are (hopefully) temporary – there are lots of friends who are expressing (relatively serious) intent in them.   We’ve had to say “no” to any visitations until after 10wks or so and the FEL-V results come in.  Avoid any hopes being dashed.     I don’t want to keep the cats because:
    • OMG the smell of stinky litter.
    • litter under your feet.  litter ending up in your bed.
    • My wife is allergic.
    • I’m a little allergic as well.
    • We want to downsize and be able to travel.
    • Wet cat food smells horrible.
    • Hair hair Hair everywhere.
    • Being strangled by cat-butt at night.
      • So in a way this is the perfect little morsel of “getting the kitty loving” – and hopefully it moves on.

Anyway, enough philosophy and intentions.  My coworker Choma believes I’m doomed, they’re going to be ours forever.  We shall see.   Here’s some stinkin’ cute cat pictures thanks to my wife’s Instagram feed:

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God bless those little kitties.